Tuesday, 2 August 2011

My colour-coding and review of Pilot V5 pens

This is an overview of my colour-coding system I use in my daily filofax, and a review of the pens I use :)

Because I use DPP refill in my filofax, I write a lot of things on one page and it can look very busy and cluttered on the page, especially if I don't organise it with colour-coding. So, I decided I needed to sort out my colours once and for all!
My earlier attempt at colour-coding came from the 4-colour pen I have, which is black, blue, red and green. I assigned black to appointments, blue for to-dos, red for uni work and green for recording things.

In my new attempt, I wrote a list of the common type of things I write in my daily diary. Many of these were the same as I used to have, but then there were some new things or new systems for things. Here is a picture of the list I made and the colours I assigned to them, which I will explain further below.

I use black for appointments because they are concrete events that I must do- a hard, black colour, kind of the opposite of "pencilling it in".
I use red for university, either for uni to-dos or daily goals like "FINISH ESSAY" (written at the top of the page in capitals), or just for time-blocking between appointments. The red colour just shouts at me: DO THIS!!
I use green, purple and turquoise for to-dos. I group my main to-dos that I want to do that day by the place where they need to be done- at home (green), on campus (purple) or other places (turquoise), rather than by subject. This is so that when I'm in a particular place, I can see everything I need to do there before I leave, instead of getting home and realising I have forgotten to do something on campus or in town!!
Pink is for fun things because it's my favourite colour- social events, TV programmes to watch, time-blocking for hobbies etc :)

I use Pilot V5 rollerball hi-tecpoint pens for colour-coding in my filofax.

I really like these pens, the ink is very smooth and doesn't run, fine lines at 0.5mm, and works great in my filofax- most importantly, it doesn't bead on the paper!! The pen barrels are thick enough to hold properly (I find it uncomfortable to hold thin pens in my hand when I have long nails), but not too thick- you can actually fit one into the pen loop of my Malden!! They are relatively inexpensive, about £2.50 per pen- which is OK if you are going to use them a lot, but you can buy them in multi-packs (turquoise, pink and purple; black, blue and red) which are about £5.50, saving you £2!
Unfortunately, they don't make a lighter green colour. I wanted to use that for at-home things, and the darker green for recording stuff like a log book, but unfortunately I can't do that and just use the dark green for home things.

Something I don't like about using multiple pens in my filofax (although I don't think I would be as organised if I used just 1) is the fact that when I need to write in a specific colour, I have to fish around in my bag/pencil case for the right pen. I have tried to overcome this by just writing my to-dos in black and underlining them in the corresponding colour when I have my pens out later. But I think I have come up with a solution:

They fit perfectly in the notepad pocket of my Malden!! The clips hold them on really well and they don't slip out! This is good for when I am out and about, and need access to my pens quickly, but not in my pencil-case.
However, this is only a temporary solution as they make my filofax quite fat, as you can see in the photo below. When I finish setting up my filo, I will have loads more stuff on the rings, so I don't think I'll be able to close it properly when the pens are in it! 

Skinny filo! (Minus the pens ;b ) Don't worry, I'll be fattening it up soon!!


  1. I'm fascinated by people who colour code in their diaries! I don't for the reason you've mentioned above: where to store the pens. My filo is too heavy as it is! Those pens look lovely though, I want to try them!

  2. I love seeing your coloured pens! I tried to do some colour coding, but mostly I just grab whatever pen I have and write in my FF. I will, however, do a bit of colour coding with my highlighters. I have had the Pilot V7/V5 pens from time to time and like them very much.

  3. Cool use of the back pocket - and your pens are always handy! However, it looks like the pens might make for bumping writing on the right side of the binder. Is that the case?

  4. Hi Kanalt,
    It doesn't make it too bad. The final section of my filo is lumpy because of the pens, but as this is my reference section I don't write in this section. The divider card behind the second-to-last section helps even out the bumps in this section but it still is a bit bumpy, however the main sections I write in, e.g. the diary, has so many sheets of paper in between it and the bumps you can't feel them at all!